What is a MDS Nurse?

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What is a MDS Nurse?
A MDS nurse is a nurse that is in-charge with the delivery of care for patients that are confined in long-term care medical centers and facilities. MDS or Minimum Data Set is a procedure administered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services for all patients in facilities that are accredited by this particular center. It involves data collection and analysis for proper patient care practices.

A MDS nurse may also be called a MDS coordinator and is responsible for collecting records for patients in long-term care medical facilities. Data may be sourced from a variety of individuals ranging from doctors, other nurses, nursing aides, therapists, and the patient’s family members. Patient charts will also be studied along with the doctors’ notes, rehabilitation and therapy notes, and progress notes among others. All information for a particular patient will be gathered and analyzed to determine the best and/or maximum benefit a patient can get in terms of Medicare or Medicaid. The data gathered will also serve as the guide in determining the reimbursement rate for the involved Medicare/Medicaid accredited facility.

Through the data collected, the MDS nurse or coordinator will be able to administer the appropriate care plan for a particular patient. Reviews of standards will also be done to ensure quality of care is given by the accredited facility and that these facilities comply with state and federal standards of medical care. All the data collected by MDS nurses or coordinators are forwarded to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services electronically. This is done on a regular basis to ensure compliance with the medical standards set by state and federal government.

MDS nurses or coordinators must be a licensed nurse or registered nurse in the state he/she is working. Some states across the US also offer certification programs to become an MDS nurse or coordinator, but usually these are not required.


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